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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Zebras -- Horses with Attitudes?

For a long time I've felt deeply sorry for horses, and that is one of the many reasons why I would never want to "own" one. Like dogs, horses have had a lot of romantic claptrap woven around them, horses primarily by young girls and dogs primarily by young boys, and that only helps to perpetuate the injustices and humiliations that through the ages have been committed against them wholesale. Dogs get some of it back, in the form of indiscriminately inflicting their noise, their execrable toilet habits, and their bites not only on their "owners" but also on many other humans as well, in addition to cats and whatever other hapless beasts that happen to present themselves.

Horses, on the other hand and with little discernible protest, have, for the last 10,000 years or so, had to endure harsh mistreatment in ways too numerous to count, including being forced to run around while bearing heavy humans on their backs, and working all day pulling heavy, stubborn objects like plows and wagons, or troikas in the snows of Russia and even trolley cars in the U.S. not so long ago. And even today a number of them are still expected to run on long but incomplete ovals as fast as their slender legs and about-to-burst hearts and lungs can take it while being whipped along by ugly little dudes perched just above their spines, And should they break a leg while being thus tortured in this "sport," they are rewarded with the longstanding tradition of quick bullets in their brains.

Notwithstanding the human erge to control anything bigger than they are, horses strike me as being much too large and inarticulate for a sensible person to want to deal with, and I'm convinced that the best thing you can do for them is not even to subsidize their spending all their remaining years eating grass (and money) in lush pastures while rarely if ever being ridden, as is often the custom here in Virginia. The very best way to treat them is just to let them gallop wild and free over the rocks and around the mesas out in the west somewhere, as herds of them actually do, though even there now and then human illegits show up and kidnap them, to sell them to slaughterhouses or to have fun breaking and then confining them in bare, dusty corrals,

But it turns out that, though they look suspiciously just like horses, the zebras in Africa have never had to go through all that, and the reason is that, though they live in the wild and are presumably free, they are so pissed off by all the eons of being chased, leaped upon, choked, killed, and then eaten by lions and the like, that they have been selected right down to their last atom to be entirely too flighty, hostile, and quick to abscond. And so, despite numerous attempts, no one has ever succeeded in taming a zebra.

Good for them, I say, though I wouldn't care to spend all my life in a barely concealed 24-hour rage, a condition, I am sorry to say, that is the lot of many of my fellowmen, all of whom, regardless of hue and national origins, had ancestors who at some point were likewise born and spent quality time on the plains or in the jungles and deserts of Africa.

Probably because it is constantly being eaten alive by the ever-voracious Sahara, it seems that anger must be endemic in Africa, and that helps explain why so many beings have left there as soon as they could and moved on to more casual climes, which is every other place where it's possible to walk, even the Arctic with its models of bad attitude, the polar bears. Not just the humans but also quite a few of the other animals in Africa have the same frames of mind as the zebras. Take the honeybees there, and the elephants. In other places they are noble creatures, but in Africa they are bad news, with a vengeance.

I wonder if things were like this back in the dinosaur days. --Even worse, the ever-thrilled paleontologists would have us believe.


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